Let’s talk about NaNoWriMo & Inktober

I have mentioned NaNoWriMo and Inktober a couple of times on here probably, but I’ve never updated how these things were going, so that’s what I’m gonna do right now.

Let’s start with the basics: NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) takes place in November, and people from all over the world attempt to write a novel of 50 thousand words. Inktober is a drawing challenge that takes place in October and basically it means you draw one ink drawing per day for each day of October.

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Inktober

Inktober was a bit of a mess. I did not realize how much time it was gonna take me to draw every day. And then it was not just the drawing, I was much of a perfectionist and wanted to make them look good when I uploaded them. This meant, scanning them with my printer, then editing them in photoshop (making the background completely white) and then uploading them. This was just too much work to keep up for an entire month. I also didn’t prepare anything the month so I had to think of topics while I was drawing and it became too draining combined with two big projects and university. I had to stop. I made it to day 8… Anyway, here’s what I drew in those 8 days:

inktober

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NaNoWriMo

I wish I could tell you how excited I am for NaNoWriMo, but I can’t. I’m still doubting whether taking part is even a good idea. I was planning on continuing with my current WIP. I’ve been referring to it as Our Shattered Minds and it is a YA fantasy about four magical outcasts who get caught up in a rebellion that wants to steal their magic. The concept is quite fun and I love the characters but I’ve been watching a lot of writing videos lately and it has made me doubt about every single thing about it. I don’t know if the plot is strong enough, I still don’t have an ending, I’ve been doubting whether my writing is good enough and basically everything has just put me off from writing it.

A couple of days ago, I was scrolling through pinterest as usual and got inspired for a title for another one of my story ideas. I’ve talked about the one before but I’m trying not to tell people (spoiler: I fail), anyway, it has sparked my excitement over that other story so much I just want to start on that one instead. The problem with this is that I can’t start it right now. I need a plot, outline, character profiles and I need a hell of a lot of research. I really want to do it right, so I wanna do a lot of research before I actually start writing it. And 3 days before NaNoWriMo starts is probably not the best time to start this.

So what am I going to do about NaNoWriMo? Honestly, I’m still in doubt. I want to try to participate, I really do. And I guess I could continue with my WIP, like I was planning to do. I might try that? But I also might give up after day 1, which would be really sad. It’s also so sad that every time I get stuck in this cycle of getting a story idea, being super excited about it, writing quite a big part of the story and then losing all motivation to continue. It feels so hopeless.

Well. Anyway. I guess I should try to get excited for NaNoWriMo because if it’s not gonna happen in the next couple of days I don’t know if it’s gonna happen at all.

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I really wish this was a very happy post about how I completed Inktober and was super excited about NaNoWriMo, but I guess life is not always about the successes and more about what you learned along the way. If you want to follow me on the NaNoWriMo webite: go here (you can also see the complete synopsis of my WIP there), and if you’d like to see more of my art on my instagram: go here.

Are you taking part in NaNoWriMo? How are the preparations going? What do you do against the writing blues (Idk if that’s a thing but I just made it up). Or are you taking part in Inktober?

Review: Achilles | Teens That Run around in Space & Die

Achilles by Greg Boose is a sci-fi adventure story with a lot of adventure and action but lacks character depth. That title was not a joke, almost all the characters die in this book and I’m sorry if I spoiled you.

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The year is 2221, and humans have colonized an earthlike planet called Thetis in the 34713811Silver Foot Galaxy. After a tragic accident kills off dozens of teenage colonists, Thetis’s leaders are desperate to repopulate. So the Mayflower 2, a state-of-the-art spaceship, sets off across the universe to bring 177 new recruits to the colony.
For Jonah Lincoln, an orphaned teen who’s bounced between foster homes and spent time on the streets of Cleveland, the voyage is a chance to reinvent himself, to be strong and independent and brave the way he could never be on Earth. But his dreams go up in smoke when their ship crash-lands, killing half the passengers and leaving the rest stranded–not on Thetis, but on its cruel and unpeopled moon, Achilles.
Between its bloodthirsty alien life forms and its distance from their intended location, Achilles is far from an ideal resting place. The situation is already dire, but when all of the adults suddenly disappear, leaving the teenage passengers to fend for themselves, Jonah doubts they’ll survive at all, much less reach Thetis. Especially when it appears Achilles isn’t as uninhabited as they were led to believe.

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Let me just say from the start, this book could have been really good. It had the potential to be so much more than it ended up being. This is because the author made one vital flaw: the characters. The book starts off with Jonah’s ship crashing, and on the ship, there are a lot of people. You don’t get to know many of those because the majority is death after the crash. However, you do get to know A LOT of characters, and most of them aren’t even important. In the beginning, I thought a few characters were important to the story but ended up dying really soon after you even get to know them. This made me question why I should bother remembering names and characters if the author’s gonna kill them off anyway.

So throughout this story of killing characters (because that’s basically what happens), none of them really made an impression on me. The only character I remember by name is Jonah and that’s only because he was the main character. Jonah has an interesting background, he’s an orphan, struggles with his past, etc, but that is barely explored at all! I would have loved to get more insight in Jonah’s life and how it has affected him, instead of this weak backstory that seems only to be there to give him some interesting characteristics. Because basically, Jonah doesn’t have much of a character. Not that the other characters had much of one either.

The story goes on as these kids (whose names I can’t remember) run around on a moon, bickering, fighting and overall never seem to agree on A N Y T H I N G. It gave me strong The 100 vibes, which is not a good thing. The immaturity of the characters started to annoy me so much.

The antagonist of this story did not seem to have any more depth than being a psychopath and enjoying killing people, which is pretty much the same amount of depth the characters had tbh. I can go on and on about these characters… but I think I made my point.

The writing style didn’t have anything special to it if you ask me and even was cringy at times. With sentences like “it’s as if he’s been blown to pieces, and he falls over like a tower of toy blocks.” it didn’t impress me much. Seriously, what kind of simile is that?

 

Let’s end this on a bright note, the story had a lot of adventure and action. There was something going on at all times and I liked that! I found a quote that really represents the story if you ask me:

He almost died. Again.

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To conclude, I am giving this book 2 stars because I honestly struggled with finding good points for this review. It had a lot of adventure but with a serious lack of character depth and constant bickering, I found it very hard to keep reading this book. I have skimmed entire chapters because I just didn’t feel like it was worth my time. But perhaps, if you liked The 100th, you might enjoy this one. I don’t remember much about The 100 (the book), but I watched part of the tv-series and I felt like the character dynamics and story elements were quite similar. I will not say I recommend this book but if you wanna read it, don’t let me stop you!

Some more positive reviews that might change your mind: 4-stars, 4-stars, 3-stars.

I would like to thank Diversion Publicity and Netgalley for this e-galley, this has not affected my opinion in any way.

8 Things that Make Me Want to Pick Up a Book Immediately + Recommendations

I am back from my week-long hiatus, in which I went to Berlin, fell in love with the city and then sadly had to return to my home where it’s very boring and I have to go to school and let me just cry a little. I was so busy sightseeing that I didn’t even have the time to miss blogging! I’m very glad to be back at blogging though! It was strangely hard to come up with a topic to talk about today but I found something.

Today I wanted to talk about what makes me want to read a book. And I will not go into covers and titles, even though those play a very important role. Each topic will include examples of books I read and loved and books I want to read! So basically, this is a recommendation/tbr post 😛

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#1 Dark fantasy

I totally blame V.E. Schwab for this because her books are so wonderfully dark, it makes every other book feel light! It’s kind of weird, but I love it when books have a lot of dark themes, such as death, destruction, murder, assassins. Anything that’s inherently bad, I love it.

Read

 

To read

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#2 Con-artists & illusionists

I love it when characters are not who everyone thinks they are, when they have to fake to be someone else or something else. Illusions and cons are so much fun! There’s the complexity of coming across as genuine while there is the constant tension of not being caught.

Read

 

To read

 

#3 Complex characters

Any character that’s morally grey, has many flaws and is not the hero by design will catch my attention. I love it when characters are flawed and not really the nicest people. Characters like Kaz from Six of Crows with skewed morals are the best kind of characters to read about.

Read

 

To read

 

#4 Feminism

Give me all the female strong characters that fight for feminism (or male characters? But those are rarer)! If a story is about feminism or has feminist aspects to it, I am immediately drawn to it!

Read

 

To read

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#5 LGBT+ rep

For obvious reasons, I’m not a huge fan of romance, but when the romance is between LGBT+ characters or when the characters are just on the LGBT+ spectrum, I will immediately like it 147% more (I made that number up don’t worry).

Read

To read

#6 A diverse group of teens

LGBT+ aside, I love it when there’s a group of teens that are of different cultures, backgrounds, etc. I always like it when a book changes POVs, it always gives an extra dimension to the story because you get to see things in different perspectives!

To read

#7 Coming-of-age

If it’s a story about growing up, gaining confidence and about that phase in life where you have to start making the big decisions, I will want to read it. I love stories in which the characters have to grow out of their small comfort zone and go out in the world, discover themselves. For this reason, I love it when books are set in the last year of high school.

Read

To read

I can’t think of any at this moment!

#8 When it’s written by one of my favourite authors

This is a very obvious one, but there are some authors that have become instant favourites, and I will read whatever they come up with. EVERYTHING. Especially when it comes to V.E. Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, Laini Taylor, Holly Bourne, Maggie Stiefvater and Marissa Meyer.

To read

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What makes you want to pick up a book? Are any of our interests the same? You got any recommendations for me perhaps?

Bookish Playlist | Daughter of the Burning City

As usual, each month I make a bookish playlist. This month it’s time for Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody! Daughter of the Burning City is the perfect read for Autumn and especially October! It has a magical circus, a freak show, illusions, and a murder mystery!

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Continue reading “Bookish Playlist | Daughter of the Burning City”

The House Cup Reading Challenge | Sign Up

This is going to be a really quick post because I’ve impulsively decided to take part in this reading challenge and it starts tomorrow. I have not made a TBR yet, and I might not make one at all. We’ll see!

The House Cup Reading Challenge is 4 weeks long and starts tomorrow on 15 October, and ends on 12 November. It is hosted by  Kelsey of Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf, Alex of Book Daisy Reviews, Lauren of Live, Love, Read, and Erica of Escape Under the Cover. You’ll read 7 books, one for each year of Hogwarts, and beside that there are 13 challenges with prompts. You can read the full list here! You can get points for each of the challenges and the house with the most points wins! I am in Hufflepuff!

Continue reading “The House Cup Reading Challenge | Sign Up”

This Mortal Coil: Gene-Hacking, Gripping Action and (a little) Gore

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada is a refreshing new dystopia/sci-fi/post-apocalyptic story that grabbed me from the start until the very end, and left me gasping with the many twists and turns.

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This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada33876440

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

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What immediately grabbed me from the start and impressed me was the writing style. From the very first line, it intrigued me. The writing is vibrant and colorful, and I absolutely loved it. If a book can grab me with the writing, it says a lot, and this book could.

The premise itself is not that original, actually, it is not at all original at the first glance. It is about a girl surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, with zombie-like humans, corrupt corporations, and a plague. But despite its unoriginal premise, the story is completely new and different. It brings many new aspects and interesting things to the table.

Her words are clipped and sharp. She speaks the way a rife fires. She is steel and glass and blood fused into a blade.

I loved the gene-hacking and coding aspect to the story. There are many scientific descriptions about how it works, but it wasn’t overwhelming. What Emily Suvada did really well is to describe scientific things in a simple but realistic way. The world felt so much more realistic due to the scientific aspect of the story. It also made me think about how gene-hacking (which basically means you manipulate your genes) would work in the real world and it felt like the things that happened there, would also be able to happen here.

The word was here before I was born, and it will be keep spinning after I am dead. The universe is continuous; I am the anomaly. I am the thread that begins and ends, the flame that sputters out. A chance collection of proteins and molecules that perpetuates itself, bound by the electric fire of my mind.

The characters were all really great and multi-faceted. I loved Catarine and Cole and I thought they made a great duo. Cat was smart and determined and wanted to do the right thing. She was also funny at times, which I really liked. The only character that I didn’t really like was Dax (who is Cat’s ex), but the sole reason for that was that he kept calling Cat “Princess”.

The one thing that annoyed me mildly was the romantic storyline, which I thought was a little unnecessary. But that’s probably just my romance-aversion talking.

‘How are you feeling?’
‘I feel like… I feel like I got shot in the back.’
‘That’s a common side effect of getting shot in the back.’

The book is mildly disturbing, has many plot twists you never see coming, and is brilliantly woven into a story that you won’t forget easily. I am giving it 4.5 stars because it was gripping and had amazing writing. I really loved it! I am not giving it 5 stars because the romance was a little unnecessary and there was no diversity in it.

Hiatus Announcement + Some Questions in the Sunshine Blogger Award!

I think I mentioned this once before, but I will be taking a mini-hiatus very soon. Probably from Sunday on until next week Sunday.  I will post on this Saturday and probably also on Sunday this week but after that, I’m gone! I’ll be going on short vacation and I am so busy with school that I am unable to write posts ahead of time, also, that would be super stressful so I’m not doing that to myself. I will probably return with a post on October 24th.

Anyway, now that we got that over with, today I wanted to do a tag! I suck at doing tags on time because I always end up with a long long list of tags I was tagged in and never get around to do them. This is the Sunshine Blogger Award and I was nominated by the wonderful Laura Noakes (who is absolutely lovely and you should definitely check out her blog!). Thank you, Laura!

Continue reading “Hiatus Announcement + Some Questions in the Sunshine Blogger Award!”